For most people, arthritis means pain, stiffness and swelling. The term arthritis literally means inflammation of the joint, but it’s used to refer to multiple rheumatic diseases—disorders affecting the muscles, tendons, ligaments or joints. A rheumatologist is a doctor who specializes in treating arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.

Expert Care for Arthritis

Arthritis occurs in various forms, including bacterial arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It may result from infection, trauma, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances or other causes.

Treating Arthritis Pain

Depending on the diagnosis, treatment for arthritis and rheumatic diseases may include:

  • Rest and relaxation
  • Exercise
  • Dietary changes
  • Weight reduction
  • Water therapy
  • Mobilization therapy
  • Heat and cold therapies
  • Pain relievers and other medications
  • Joint care instruction
  • Information about special devices that help open jars, close zippers, hold pencils and assist in other everyday tasks
  • Splints or braces
  • Surgery to restore function or relieve pain

Learn more about rheumatoid arthritis and explore the Arthritis Center in our online Health Library.

For related information on bones, joints and spine care, explore orthopedic and spine care at Parkland Medical Center.